When self-help materials help : examining the effects of self-discrepancy and modes of delivery of positive self-statements

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

1 Scopus Citations


Self-help materials inculcating individuals with positive self-statements are popular in recent years, although the effectiveness of such self-statements on improving individuals’ psychological well-being has not yet been confirmed. Using a control-group pre-test/post-test design, we examined how positive self-statements may or may not benefit individuals’ mood. Individual characteristics and modes of delivery were found to moderate mood changes resulting from positive self-statements. Specifically, we found that participants experienced negative mood change after reading positive self-statements, if they have low level of need satisfaction. However, we also found that participants experienced a mood boost after listening to positive self-statements, and this effect was unrelated to self-esteem or need satisfaction. These findings suggest that self-help materials with a focus on positive self-statements should be used with caution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-172
Number of pages10
JournalThe Journal of Positive Psychology
Issue number2
Early online date13 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2016



  • positive self-statement
  • mood
  • self-discrepancy
  • modes of delivery

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